Anyone who insults or threatens others on platforms like Facebook can be prosecuted. According to Bavaria’s Minister of Justice, this should also apply to the operators of such networks – under certain conditions.
If social networks do not delete hate posts immediately, the Chairman of the Conference of Justice Ministers wants them to be held more accountable in the future.
“Anyone who does not delete or block death threats or terror announcements must fear criminal consequences according to Bavaria’s will,” said Bavaria’s Minister of Justice Georg Eisenreich (CSU) in Munich. He wants to submit an application for this at the conference with his colleagues from the federal and state governments in Schwangau (Ostallgäu district) on June 1st and 2nd.
So far, the Federal Office of Justice can only open fine proceedings in such cases. However, the operators of such large networks could “often pay out of petty cash,” said Eisenreich. The federal government should therefore check whether criminal consequences are also possible for companies – if they do not delete such content promptly despite knowledge, for example after complaints.
So far, this has not been “legally clarified,” said Eisenreich. Criminal law is currently tailored primarily to the authors of such contributions. However, the operators earned “a lot of money” with the networks and therefore had to meet their responsibilities more, Eisenreich emphasized. “It is not possible for profits to be privatized, but problems for democracy and the rule of law to be socialized.”
Combating human trafficking and forced prostitution will also be a topic at the spring conference of justice ministers in Schwangau. The fight against anti-Semitism is also on the agenda.